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Books…An Era Gone By?

Books…An Era Gone By?

May 13, 2014

Ski Safari

Yesterday my nephews proceeded to crush me at a new game downloaded to my phone Ski Safari.  They were thrilled to ride a Yeti with a penguin on their backs (yes that’s really a thing) as they jumped over rocks skiing down a mountain.  My best score was 720 points and they each reached numbers around 45,000 points.  At five and seven they have Kindles and can already read.  Technology is amazing and it’s make kids today much smarter than we were starting out over thirty years ago.  Game technology pushes me out of my comfort zone.

The technology I’ve been most comfortable with also forces people out of their comfort zones. Those people happen to be surgeons.  I sold a surgical device for sinus surgery, a surgical device for the treatment of acid reflux and really enjoyed learning and then teaching the mechanics of the devices to surgeons, OR scrub technicians who assisted with the cases and even to hospital CEOs.

For treatment of GERD

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Gaming technology not so much a fan, surgical device technology a total fan and as far as reading devices, I’m still on the fence.  My reason is silly really.  When I pack to a trip, I have to take a laptop, phone, ipod (yes, I’m old) and corresponding cords for each.  My sister has tried to get me into a Kindle for years and I seriously fight her because it’s just another cord and device I have to pack.  Part of me also likes reading a book in bed.  Studies have shown computers or television before bed can cause insomnia.

From Forbes: Common Sense Media’s new report, entitled “Children, Teens, And Reading,” attempts to offer a “big-picture perspective on children’s reading habits in the United States and how they may have changed during the technological revolution of recent decades.” The big scary takeaway:

According to government studies, since 1984, the percent of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers went down from 70% to 53%, and the percent of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers went from 64% to 40%. The percent of 17-year-olds who never or hardly ever read tripled during this period, from 9% to 27%.

That is some big data that none of us should be happy to read.  I’ll admit I read a lot less since I use my laptop and can always find work to do or worse read some stupid story that might only be entertaining at a cocktail party but not really important or worthy of pulling me away from a good book.  When it comes to books, however, most studies show that the text delivery method is irrelevant. Good reading behavior has nothing to do with technology the children emulate their parent’s reading habits. 






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